Sarwan had better credentials to be captain - WICB official By Kevin Pile
Guyana Chronicle
May 1, 2007

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) chief executive officer, Bruce Aanensen says Ramnaresh Sarwan’s on-the-field leadership, knowledge of the game and team influence were the factors behind the 26-year-old’s elevation to be West Indies captain.

“I think the selectors felt that his knowledge of the game went in his favour. They also felt that the opportunities he had to lead the team on the field, they were very impressed with that, and those are two very important criteria and I think those mainly were the two things that swung things in his favour. He also has the respect of the players,” Aanensen told CMC Sports yesterday.

The selection panel headed by legendary former opening batsman Gordon Greenidge recommended Sarwan to replace Brian Lara who quit international cricket after the World Cup.

After lengthy discussions over the recommendation during a special board meeting at the upscale north coast Almond Beach Resort hotel Sunday, the board eventually agreed unanimously on Sarwan to lead the team on the tour of England beginning May 12.

“I think we had a very good meeting, we had the chairman of selectors Gordon Greenidge there with us and he presented the case of the selectors in terms of their recommendation for a captain,” Aanensen said.

“There was lengthy debate on the pros and cons of the recommendation that was Ramnaresh Sarwan. He (Greenidge) had indicated to us that the only other option that they felt they had was Daren Ganga and when they weighed up the pros and cons of the two persons they felt Sarwan was the better choice.

“There were lots of questions put to him which I thought was a healthy situation that the selectors get an opportunity to understand the thinking of the board.

“After the lengthy discussions the Board unanimously approved Ramnaresh Sarwan on the basis put forward by the selectors.”

Aanensen said much of the discussion on Sunday surrounded the introduction of new criteria which was expected to guide the choice of captain.

The WICB official said with neither Sarwan nor Ganga fulfilling all of the criteria required, it was agreed that Sarwan would be appointed and be given the necessary assistance in achieving the criteria laid out.

“The board had done up about a year ago criteria for the selection of a captain. It was never officially implemented but after discussion with the cricket committee and the selectors, we all agreed that it should be used as the guide to the captain,” Aanensen explained.

“Obviously, bringing something like this for the first time, they didn’t feel that any of the guys could meet the full criteria so therefore we had to take a decision – if nobody meets the criteria how do we make a determination of who best fits the criteria and if Sarwan is the person do we feel that with training, with support, he can eventually become the type of captain that can fulfil the entire criteria?

“There was no one really who would fill the entire criteria so it is on that basis that the Board agreed to go along with Sarwan.”